AAA New York has published a Bridges To Watch list based on structural examinations from traffic safety experts. The Tappan Zee edges out the Kosciuszko and the Goethals bridge as one of “three worst bridges” in the NY Metro area.
“[The] Tappan Zee tops the list due to its very poor physical condition and lack of shoulders. Made of substandard steel during the Korean War. Approaches built on piles made of wood that are constantly eroding,” says AAA Car and Travel magazine.
AAA New York’s Robert Sinclair Jr. told MyFoxNY.com that the TZB “is the worst of the worst” handling far more traffic than designers intended. He says the substandard steel combined with the wooden footings compromise safety.
Today’s bridge traffic of 140,000-170,000 vehicles a day is almost ten times the load of the 18,000 vehicles that crossed the bridge when it first opened, according to the NYS Thruway. Transportation officials have proposed building a new TZB which would include major mass transit improvements in the I-287 corridor connecting Rockland and Westchester counties.